Laws to move-on protestors in Victoria may be repealed

February 17, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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Victorian State Liberal MP David Southwick has expressed concerns about how Victorian parliament’s plans to grant more powers of protest to unions and activists will impact on BDS.

David Southwick

David Southwick

Southwick, member for Caulfield, says: “I join many Victorians in expressing my deep concern over the Victorian Labor Government’s determination to reinstate protest and blockade powers for unions and aggressive activists by repealing move-on laws.

David Southwick leads an anti-BDS protest at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in the Melbourne CBD.

David Southwick leads an anti-BDS protest at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in the Melbourne CBD.

In Parliament, I posed the question to the Government on how they will protect Jewish businesses and the community if they repeal new police powers to peacefully move-on violent protesters who use hate-fuelled campaigns like the BDS movement to shut down shops and harass patrons. The answer: nothing.

Every Victorian has the right to protest and express their views. However, when individuals resort to unlawful tactics that threaten the livelihood of law-abiding businesses, employees and their families, they must be held to account.

In 2011, a BDS protest outside Max Brenner turned violent seeing three police injured and 19 arrests. However, due to move-on laws not existing at the time, all those arrested escaped charge in a Magistrate Court hearing in 2012. The then Premier Ted Baillieu stated “the targeting of business because of their religious or cultural association offends the whole community and undermines our multicultural society.” Does Daniel Andrews want to see a return to a state of chaos?

The previous Victorian Government listened to the concerns of Victoria Police, businesses and the Jewish community. As a result in March 2014, the Victorian Coalition introduced move-on powers in Victoria to give police the ability to move-on protesters who blockaded business premises or caused apprehension of fear and violence to protect businesses like Max Brenner, their patrons and the public.

The militant unions’ investment in the Victorian Labor state election campaign will receive major dividends and aid the BDS movement should the Andrews Government successfully repeal the hard work of the previous government to protect the community if move-on laws are scrapped, further demonstrating Labor’s soft-on crime approach.

Move-on laws have successfully weakened the BDS movement which blurs an attack on Israel with anti-Semitism and incites prejudice. If Daniel Andrews axes these police powers, it will risk Jewish businesses to a rise in BDS protests of disruption and intimidation.

The Premier must back down on repealing Victoria’s move-on laws to demonstrate he is willing to put people first.

I call on the Andrews Government to reconsider their position on the proposed changes and consult with the Jewish community to hear how scrapping police powers to control aggressive protests will impact businesses and ask what the Government will do to prevent a spike in BDS activity.”

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Laws to move-on protestors in Victoria may be repealed”
  1. Alan Baden says:

    Lets not diminish the right to protest and exhibit free speech because of fear.

  2. Margarita Stein says:

    Our everyday lives are impacted by aggressive behavior each day of our lives, but BDS is employed nazi style boycott and we have to learn from history

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